Friday, 24 July 2009

Off to the Writers' Holiday

I'm off to the Writers' Holiday in Caerleon, and I can't wait.

I shall be leaving R with three noisy teenagers and an extremely grumpy dog. Even more grumpier than usual as he's being clipped today, and is always in a foul mood for days after.

R has a couple of weeks off and it's even his birthday whilst I'm away. So Happy Birthday R (x).

I'm excited, but also nervous and feel sure that I'll definately return knowing far more than I do now. So, have a great week, and I'll catch up with everyone when I get back.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Always The Bridesmaid and a Bookersatz Review

Just when I thought today was going to be a typically grim Monday, I decided to take a break from going round in circles and have a peek at my emails, whilst munching on my cheese and lettuce sandwich. I was delighted to see that I'd won a signed copy of Nina Harrington's new book, Always The Bridesmaid, together with a signed cover flat of the US cover.

Since last year's RNA Conference Nina has sold two books, Always The Bridesmaid being her first, and had a new contract for two more. Now, that's success. I'm so thrilled for her, because, apart from having great taste in shoes (very important), she's also a lovely person, and it's always heart-warming to see good people do well.

Before I go and bellow at my fighting teenagers (they've only just broken up, and already they're at each others throats), you may remember that recently I read a wonderful book by Sarah Harrison, called 'A Spell Of Swallows', and if you'd like to read more about it, please go to Bookersatz where they've just posted my review.

Right. That's it. Time to break them up and restore a little peace around here.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Shed Gets A Makeover

The shed has had a makeover and instead of Fushias in the three blue pots alongside, I have a different coloured rose bush. There's a yellow, white and a pink one, and the blooms are beautiful.

Still reading West Coast and would definately recommend it. I would have finished it sooner, but have had so much going on that I haven't been able to spend too much time reading.

I'm slowly catching up with all the blog posts connected to the RNA Conference, thanks to Liz and the RNA blog, and am also getting organized for my trip to Caerleon. Can't wait to go and spend five days with nothing to think about apart from writing. Sheer bliss.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Fame At Last

Well, maybe not fame exactly (or at all, in fact) but a mention in The Times, which is fun. Here's the link to the Times Online article about the Shed of the Year Competition and where I'm mentioned way down the page somewhere near the bottom, but it's a mention nonetheless.

It was good to have something to cheer me up this weekend, as nothing was quite going to plan. For the past few years I've attended the RNA Conference, but couldn't make it this year, and despite being kept up-to-date with the RNA Tweet, so cleverly arranged by Liz Fenwick, I would have preferred to have been there in person. Also an unmentionable person (whispers the word 'ex-husband' and tries not to get annoyed, yet again) has been causing unnecessary problems, and so my intended writing this week has dwindled to very little output, as most of my energies have been tied up elsewhere.

Nevermind, I'm going to press on with a short story I need to finish asap and then settle down to watch the Katie Price interview with Piers Morgan (don't groan). Then on Monday, I shall look forward to all the brilliant reports about the RNA Conference.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Shed of the Year 2009 Winner is...The Kite Cabin

Stephen Harwood's shed is a very worthy winner and a fab shed with everything you could wish for inside and a great view too.

If you want to read what the judges had to say about the other finalists, please go here. However Sarah Beeny had this to say about Grumpy's Palace, "...Though I was tempted by Grumpy’s Palace as it looks just like my office," and Chris Evans said this, "Grumpy’s shed was a great shed but nothing that nice and welcoming should be called grumpy - I’m saying next year change the name and you’re in with a shout, son."

I've had such fun taking part, and I'm sure Grumpy has too, though to look at the expression on his face, it's a little hard to tell. A big thank you, once again, to everyone who voted for Grumpy's Palace. Your votes were much appreciated.

Don't forget to have a look at the Richard Armitage interview over at Vulpes Libris

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Raspberry Cosmopolitans, French Knickers & Richard Armitage

Lunch on Saturday was perfect. Great food (Caesar salad followed by lobster salad for me, accompanied by several bottles of bubbles and much hilarity. Later, having almost talked and giggled ourselves hoarse, Sach (the organized one) led us out to the waiting taxi that she'd arranged, and off we went to the Royal Yacht where we sat in the sun and enjoyed another bottle of the same.

Then it was on to the Museum (outside cocktail bar there) where we enjoyed several of these raspberry cosmopolitans, and another, very tasty cocktail, called French Knickers. I've tried looking this one up, but without success so have no idea what the ingredients are, however, it (yes, only had one of these) was very good.

Spent most of sunday relaxing and reading, and have to admit that very little writing was done this weekend. I think it did my brain good to have a break.

I'm looking forward to an interview with Richard Armitage, tomorrow (Wednesday) on Vulpes Libris where he talks about books, Richard III and Guy of Gisborne (who is no more, sob, gulp). You can find the interview here

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Happy Independence Day & Interview

Happy Independence Day.

Today, R will be hoisting his stars & stripes flag - yes, he does have a flagpole, much to my initial embarrassment - as he has family connections to America (grandfather, I think). I shall be on the other side of the island, enjoying a gossip-and-bubble-filled lunch with 'the girls'. We've booked a table at Sumas on the terrace overlooking Gorey bay, which should be glorious, as the sun is shining. I can't wait.

I was interviewed yesterday over the phone by the very lovely Kate Muir of The Times about being a finalist in the Shed of the Year 2009 competition. I was nervous, of course, but she was very friendly, and I ended up chatting to her all about the Romantic Novelists Association, Novel Racers and my online writing groups.

We discussed my shed, all my bits and pieces in it and what a great space it is to work in. It was only later that I realized I have one of her books, West Coast, bought when I went to London in February for the Romantic Novel of the Year Award lunch, in my tbr pile.

The piece about the Shed of the Year 2009 competition will be published in The Times, in the gardening section on 11th July.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Shed of the Year 2009 - Finalists Announced

The finalists for this years Shed of the Year competition have been announced, and you'll never guess whose shed made it this far... yes, mine. So exciting.

My shed, or "Grumpy's Palace", has been voted as 'Garden Office Category Winner' for 2009. If you want to have a look, please go here

Thank you all so much for voting. I can't believe the shed has made it to the finals, and now all I have to do is wait for the celebrity judges, Sarah Beeny, Chris Evans and Trevor Bayliss, among others, to make their choices. Having had a look at the competition, I don't hold much hope, but it's been a thrill getting this far. They will announce the winner on 8th July.